Emotional Distress Injuries

Injuries and accidents can occur to most of us, as none can have the guarantee that these problems will pass us by. What effects can an accident or injury have on our lives? Unfortunately, it can be far more serious than you might imagine.

Imagine yourself as a healthy individual with a family and a job. You have both responsibilities and activities that you do for enjoyment. You work hard at your job, you support your family, you go out with them, you exercise and you stay active. This is your normal lifestyle, which might entail different things – trips, exercise, walks, going out with friends, being able to work, etc.

However, at any point this may change for the worse. We all may be the victim in a car accident or a workplace accident, getting injuries in a situation we are not responsible for. What are the actual effects that an injury can have? Well, the extent may vary, however, we can consider some different possible effects.

  • Significant lifestyle changes

An injury can mean a complete change in your lifestyle. You may have to stop exercise and cut down on your physical activity, since you may not be able to walk for a long time or make a significant physical effort. You may have to have difficulties doing things you used to do (e.g., taking a bike to work, walking to the store, carrying things around) and, if the damage is more severe, you might have difficulties with daily things, like shopping, cooking and others. Sometimes, the injury or accident can prevent you from continuing to do your job as before.

  • Grief

A grieving process can occur when there is a significant change in your life. This is especially true if the injuries have caused you to stop doing things that were important to you or led to you losing hopes, opportunities and aspiration for the future. All these things can lead to a grieving process that can be quite long and difficult to manage. Grieving can involve deep feelings of sadness and anger and appear as a process with features that are similar to depression. A grieving process can last for a while.

  • Depression

Depression may be experienced due to difficulties adjusting to the changes and to all the things that become off-limits to you. Many individuals may become more isolated and struggle with feelings of helplessness and guilt over the situation, especially if their ability to work and provide for their family has been in some way affected.

  • Anxiety

An individual may experience significantly higher and limiting levels of anxiety. Anxiety may occur out of fear of experiencing another injury or due to a person’s fear of being unable to handle different situations in their new condition. Many individuals may choose not to leave their homes alone or to hardly go outside.

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

If the accident was severe enough to make the person fear for their life or has affected their physical integrity, individuals may develop PTSD. This disorder involves flashbacks, high degrees of anxiety, avoidance of situations and ideas reminiscent of the traumatic situations, as well as difficulties moving on and having hopes for the future. Emotions become mostly negative and there are difficulties in interpersonal relationships.

  • Relationship Problems

A significant change in a person’s life can affect their closest relationships as well. It’s possible that the relationships will be affected negatively in many cases, because if the injury is significant, the individual may not be able to do the things they used to do or to be as involved with their family as before. Depression, anxiety and other emotional issues can also change the individual’s outlook and way to interact with others.

  • Family troubles

Many view the family as a system, in which every person’s situation affects the situations of the other members. A serious injury or accident can have a serious impact on the lives of the spouse or the children of the person who had the accident. They also might feel depressed, anxious and to experience limited opportunities, as well as an increased amount of pressure. For example, a child might feel worried about their parent’s situation, afraid that the parent will die and pressured to not share the child’s own problems or to become independent at an early age, when they still need support, which can hurt their development.

  • Pain and health complications

Many injuries lead to chronic pain that can not always be adequately managed by medication. Other injuries may lead to different side effects in the body that can occur over the long run. For instance, an injury might heal, but increase the likelihood of future trauma. A forced period of inactivity combined with medication might lead to problems due to side effects of the medicines and to problems due to the lack of exercise, like weight gain or lack of energy.  All these effects can make it difficult for the person to go on normally about their daily life.

  • Financial and material losses

Although financial losses may be less significant than emotional and health issues, they still need to be considered.  Financial losses may be linked to high hospital bills, paying for rehabilitation, therapy and other procedures that can be needed to recover. If the individual who had the accident was also the main provider for the family, the family may also end up in debt or losing property in order to pay for the medical care and for their daily expenses. If the person is not able to continue their job, the family can also feel a significant change in their quality of life.

In general, an accident or serious injury can lead to many problematic effects that involve an individual’s emotions, mental health, interpersonal relationships and financial state. It can also affect other family members and the family as a whole. It can lead to loss of opportunities, expectations and even dreams, and, if the injury is serious enough, it can limit the person’s activities in their family life, prevent them from working like they used to and stop them from achieving their goals. A serious injury can force the individual to give up hobbies or to limit daily activities, even simple ones like walking.

In sum, an accident can severely change an individual’s life well beyond the observable physical injuries.  There can also be substantial psychological damage that results in a significant loss of enjoyment of life.


The injury lawyers at Martin Colin, P.C., headquartered in White Plains, New York, handle accident claims, negligence and personal injury cases.  If you have been hurt in an accident due to the negligence of another person, our attorneys may be able to help.

Please call (914) 771 7711 or email using the ‘Contact Us’ form on this page.


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